Psycho-Babble Medication Thread 9730

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Re: Lamictal-Barbara

Posted by kaybo on July 15, 2003, at 20:33:12

In reply to Re: Lamictal-Barbara starlight, posted by Barbara Cat on July 15, 2003, at 17:19:36

Hey there,
Just kind of stumbled onto your thread here. Definitely relating to it all. I am finally starting to stabalize on my meds. Again. Been pretty much a two year on again, off again battle. I'm now on 150mg Lamictal and 900mg of Trileptol. Plus I need to take something to sleep or I'm in a state of aware dreaming all night. I've been taking Seroquel. Then tried Zyprexa and started feeling surreal during the day.
I'm a screenwriter. Another messed up artist I guess. Had many moments of spiritual "awakening" and I feel like part of my extended depressed state stems from feeling that those moments were really induced by the disorder. I was way into searching for enlightenment and now am afraid to tread anywhere near it. My major manic episode was brought on by a combination of heavy antidepressants, stress, a couple weeks of no sleep and a bunch of mushrooms. I thought I had figured it all out. Then I exploded. And crashed extremely hard after being put on high doses of Depakote. Later added Wellbutrin, but never got through the darkness. Started over again about five months ago. The Lamictal seems to be working well to ease the depression, but I'm still not quite fully there yet. Pdoc keeps the Trileptol on board to keep the threat of mania away. I'm not so sure about it. I'm looking so forward to the day when the cloud disappears and I can see clearly.
peace.

 

Re: BIPOLAR QUESTION?

Posted by cleo on July 15, 2003, at 23:14:57

In reply to Re: BIPOLAR QUESTION?, posted by pasdenom on July 15, 2003, at 18:57:12

> > > Cleo,
> > > Yes it does sound like bipolar to me, but not the worst kind. There's Bipolar I, II, cyclothymia, etc. If depression is your worst symptom you probably have bipolar II like I do. By the way, what meds are you on?
> >
> > I've been on every one out there. But I'm on Lamictal at 300mg, serzone400mg, topamax 300mg, paxil 100mg. And these meds have been reduced! He just took me off of wellbutrin and I was taking 800mg of serzone. He's also going to increase my lamictal. He said that I was a difficult patient to diagnose. Do the shopping sprees make me have hypomania?
>
> Cleo,
> the shopping sprees are indicative of hypomania. When you are going on them do you feel giddy, really happy, out of control?
> I also am on lamictal which did help curb my hypomania. I was not difficult to diagnose because I have an unbelievable family history of the disorder on my father's side of the family--just about everyone has either bipolarI or II. My 9 year old daughter has it, my 20 year old is cyclothymic and my 16 year old has many prodromal signs, meaning she could develop it later on.
>
> Anyway, no matter what you call what you have, if the meds help you lead a more normal life, that's good!

When I go on shopping sprees and buy food I get really exited and "happy" because the world has so many opportunities for me now. I can get anything I want and when the bill comes, no big deal, who cares about that! I would get on the internet at midnight and shop for clothes and jewelry that I didn't even want. My mother maybe mentioned the other day that she liked gold bracelets, so I'd go and buy one and two and three. I bought two lbs of Fannie May candy on the net and paid $20 next day air mail which cost more than the candy???? I just wasn't thinking right or I didn't care. I ordered take out from expensive restaurants and if they delivered, I was glad to pay the high delivery fee. Who cares?
I ate that about every day till my credit card was reaching its limit, and I couldn't even pay the minimums. I'm 26 and was 6,000 in debt all together. Due to circumstances that were my fault and not, I had to file bankruptcy two years ago.

 

Barb, for barbaracat.......lexapro and depakote

Posted by McPac on July 15, 2003, at 23:30:41

In reply to Re: for barbaracat.......lexapro and depakote joebob, posted by Barbara Cat on July 15, 2003, at 17:30:35

Barb, is Lexapro any worse than the other ssri's for bipolars, from what you've read/heard (as far as causing problems)?

"Please be aware that any of the SSRI type meds can be BIG trouble for bipolars."

>>>>>>>Barb, are the ssri's known to be worse than other AD's for causing bipolars' problems? If so, any idea why? Thanks!!!

 

Re: Barb, for barbaracat.......lexapro and depakote McPac

Posted by Barbara Cat on July 16, 2003, at 0:53:27

In reply to Barb, for barbaracat.......lexapro and depakote, posted by McPac on July 15, 2003, at 23:30:41

I haven't had experience with Lexapro but I've heard that it causes the same cycling and kindling as other SSRI's. Lexapro is Celexa but with a modified structure. It's still an 'SSRI-type' drug. I'm not aware of any SSRI or other AD's that aren't destabilizing for bipolars. The recommendation for bipolar depression is lamictal rather than SSRI's. It's working well for me.

As far as why, a book called "Why your depression isn't getting better", by Michael Bartos, MD, explains it very well. Very worth reading. I got mine from Amazon. You could also do a web search on bipolar+SSRI and you'll find a wealth of info. Here's a good article on it:

http://mhsource.com/expert/exp1052796c.html



> Barb, is Lexapro any worse than the other ssri's for bipolars, from what you've read/heard (as far as causing problems)?
>
> "Please be aware that any of the SSRI type meds can be BIG trouble for bipolars."
>
> >>>>>>>Barb, are the ssri's known to be worse than other AD's for causing bipolars' problems? If so, any idea why? Thanks!!!

 

Re: Lamictal-Barbara kaybo

Posted by Barbara Cat on July 16, 2003, at 1:13:56

In reply to Re: Lamictal-Barbara, posted by kaybo on July 15, 2003, at 20:33:12

Dear Kaybo,
I know what you mean about the darkness. Edgar Allen Poe and Vincent Van Gogh had it in spades, even though one would consider them quite creative. At what price? Have you read "Touched by Fire", by Kaye Jamison Redfield? All the luminaries are there, all seemingly bipolar. My worst episodes were triggered by SSRI's. I was taking all different brands for over 10 years because I was supposedly major depressive. No one could figure out why they weren't working until I came to this board and figured it out myself. I've had good results with lithium and lamictal. Haven't had even one of those Grim Reaper depressions since. I've been quite down at times, but not psychotically bereft.

So, about your enlightenment quest. My understanding of this state has much to do with quiet and centered being in the face of life's storms. The dazzle I was looking for was just more of ego's tricks. I've stopped searching for enlightenment and am just too happy to have a refreshing meditation these days. Stepping out of my revving mind and noticing what's going on in the here and now is more than enough. I experimented with many mind altering substances and was brought to the doorway. But I had to step through with just me and my screwed up self. And the guidance of Spirit when I allow myself to trust in it. - Barbara

 

Re: Gosford Park, Li and creativity

Posted by fluffy on July 16, 2003, at 13:01:01

In reply to Re: Lamictal-Barbara kaybo, posted by Barbara Cat on July 16, 2003, at 1:13:56

Hey Barbara Cat!

I've found the perfect sleep aid!! Just put Gosford Park in the DVD player...one hour later--sound asleep!

I am upping my dose of Lamictal again--I went down due to a sicky feeling when I was on 200mg. So far, so good. My doc seems pretty set on this Lamictal monotherapy thing right now. I've been feeling better so far this week...so I guess the proof is in the pudding.

I do wonder if Lithium would squelch my artwork. I have noticed that I'm more productive and creative on Lamictal, since I'm not a depressed blur anymore. I also feel that my hypomanias are too confusing to lead to artwork or creative thought--just unfinished projects, drinking and smoking too much pot, and running around like a chicken with my head cut off. I'm ready to load the Li ammunition if I start having problems again.

Is anyone on this thread an artist of any type who is on Lithium? I'm curious what your experience is.

Katy

 

Re: Gosford Park, Li and creativity fluffy

Posted by Barbara Cat on July 16, 2003, at 13:53:35

In reply to Re: Gosford Park, Li and creativity, posted by fluffy on July 16, 2003, at 13:03:03

Gosford Park was truly boring and dumb. Robert Altman's obsessive chitter-chatter movies are annoying at best. I can't believe it got some kind of Oscar. I gave away my copy to the local library so perhaps some other poor soul is getting a good night's sleep.

I'm an artist, not making a living on it but have certain talents that seem to go along with bipolar. I play piano, flute, sing, and teach dance part time. I also dabble with watercolor. In my bipolar career, I've started numerous art projects for which I had talent and passion, but no focus or staying power. My garage looks like an art supply warehouse. No one could possibly carry through with all those creative ideas in two or three lifetimes.

I've found my creative output (not necessarily my creativity, which is part of me) has been enhanced tremendously with lithium and lamictal. I may not get the flashes of sublime inspiration, but at least I can rub two thoughts together and carry through with my projects. I don't think those epiphanies are ever wasted, however. They live in my neural networks and still inspire me. I was much too frazzled before and resorted to wine and opiods to ground me. Fat chance of getting anything meaningful done while snookered. Or paralyzed with bleak despair.

I wonder about the visual arts vs. the more tactile ones. Everything was so much more intense when I was tweaked, colors, shapes. Vincent Van Gogh still painted during the worst of his manias. But I don't think intense vivid angst is the only worthwhile art subject. There is beauty and perfection in the simplicity of a zen watercolor.

 

Re: Barb, for barbaracat.......lexapro and depakote McPac

Posted by cleo on July 16, 2003, at 15:55:46

In reply to Barb, for barbaracat.......lexapro and depakote, posted by McPac on July 15, 2003, at 23:30:41

mcpac,
i'm curious to know why you wrote that ssri's can be big trouble for bipolars? All types of bp? I have bipolar and have noticed that lamictal has been the best med for me out of all of the many that i've taken.

cleo

 

Re: i loved gosford park, fwiw (nm)

Posted by Sabina on July 16, 2003, at 18:19:40

In reply to Re: Gosford Park, Li and creativity fluffy, posted by Barbara Cat on July 16, 2003, at 13:53:35

 

Cleo, .......lexapro and depakote

Posted by McPac on July 16, 2003, at 20:32:28

In reply to Re: Barb, for barbaracat.......lexapro and depakote McPac, posted by cleo on July 16, 2003, at 15:55:46

"i'm curious to know why you wrote that ssri's can be big trouble for bipolars?"

>>>>>>>>>>Actually, that was Barb's quote......anti-dep's in general, and ssri's for many, can 'destabilize' many bipolars.

 

Thanks Barb! (NM) (nm)

Posted by McPac on July 16, 2003, at 20:34:52

In reply to Re: Barb, for barbaracat.......lexapro and depakote McPac, posted by Barbara Cat on July 16, 2003, at 0:53:27

 

Re: Barb, for barbaracat.......lexapro and depakote cleo

Posted by Barbara Cat on July 17, 2003, at 1:58:12

In reply to Re: Barb, for barbaracat.......lexapro and depakote McPac, posted by cleo on July 16, 2003, at 15:55:46

Lamictal isn't an SSRI, it's an anti-convulsant mood stabilizer and very good for bp's, especially for bipolar depression. It's been good for me as well. There's a ton of info on this board and out on the web about how SSRI's can destabilize and cause hypomania. Here's a good website:

http://www.psycheducation.org/bipolar/controversy.htm

A good book is "Why your depression isn't getting better", Robert Bartos.


> i'm curious to know why you wrote that ssri's can be big trouble for bipolars? All types of bp? I have bipolar and have noticed that lamictal has been the best med for me out of all of the many that i've taken.
>
> cleo

 

Re: Gosford Park, Li and creativity

Posted by fluffy on July 17, 2003, at 12:00:57

In reply to Re: Gosford Park, Li and creativity fluffy, posted by Barbara Cat on July 16, 2003, at 13:53:35

Hey Barbara Cat--

It's cool to hear what you do creatively. I passionately wanted to be a dancer, but opted to be a visual artist due to extremely short limbs and a bubbly butt.

My work is dependent on a kind of choreography, though. I work more like an architect or a scientist than a mad, paint splattering expressionist type. I plan, concentrate and contemplate quitely rather than produce in a mad and tearful rage. Personally, the meds seem to have helped me complete my work (as with you). I really, really hate that image of visual artists...one that Kay Jamison catagorizes as the artist's temperment. (The Rothko, Pollock, Van Gogh types) I wonder if they would have opted to stay on meds rather than having a bad temper and losing friends. I kind of hated that book "Touched with Fire". Not all bipolar artists rely on their hypomanias to produce worthwhile work. She qualifies her generalizations a lot, but I couldn't help but feel that her points were exaggerated and romantic.

I was curious about Lithium specifically because of its reputation for putting the fire out so to speak. Kay Jamison seems to dwell on it quite a bit. Her book actually makes me feel a little frightened about TAKING Lithium! Something I'm sure she didn't intend to purport.

Rock on with your creative endeavors!

Katy

 

Re: Gosford Park, Li and creativity fluffy

Posted by Barbara Cat on July 17, 2003, at 13:26:15

In reply to Re: Gosford Park, Li and creativity, posted by fluffy on July 17, 2003, at 12:00:57

Hi Fluffy,
Does your name have to do with your bubbly butt? (That might sound really weird to someone just getting into this thread!) Glad you can approach your art so centeredly. Do you make your living doing this? If so, good for you!

I felt similarly to K.R. Jamison's description of the 'tortured artist'. I think she was in a full throttle manic swing when she wrote it, or had leaning towards OCD. All those charts and graphs! plus she was in clinical practice full time. It is interesting how so many passionate artist-types are categorized as bipolar. Maybe it had something to do with too much lead in the cookware and pipes back then. Beethoven's hair was analyzed not too long ago and it showed sky high lead levels. He was majorly depressed but obviously had moments of grandeur. But who wouldn't be depressed back then with the cold, heat, grime, rotten teeth and no baths! Yecch.

Lithium doesn't damp out the fire at all for me. I've heard that it can do that, i.e., Jamison was taking alot of lithium and said that she eventually compromised with less lithium, less stability, but more creativity. I'm only taking 600mg/day which is below the therapeutic window so maybe more would affect me more adversely.
Without it I get frizzled and disordered so whatever it does, it does me good. I considered that I had ADD but stimulants made me feel even more fried.

Lithium supposedly makes new neurons and is protective - brain healthy. That may be so, however, it's made my hypothyroid condition worse and I pee alot more. I have to exercise alot just to stay plump. Hopefully jettisoning the nortriptyline will help in that regard. - Barbara

 

Re: Gosford Park, Li and creativity Barbara Cat

Posted by Jennifer N. on July 17, 2003, at 13:57:02

In reply to Re: Gosford Park, Li and creativity fluffy, posted by Barbara Cat on July 17, 2003, at 13:26:15

Hi Fluffy & Barbara

I've been reading your postings about Bipolar and artists, creativity, etc. I wrote the best poem I have ever written yesterday while in a manic phase. What was so interesting, is that I was listening, attentively, to a conference call at work...a three and a half hour conference call that we call "Accountability". (Holding others accountable for their actions, personal issues that hinder our work, etc.) My mind was split in two: one side listening to this meeting, being involved and listening to everything they said, and the other half was writing this amazing peice of work! It just flowed out of me. This was the first time I have ever experienced anything like this! It was cool, but also a little scary.

I also am a painter, but more so I'm a singer/musician. I have been involved in music my whole life. I am excited about what my mania will do for me in the creative world of music...but that sounds pretty sick, huh? The rest of the mania SUCKS! The insomnia, the not eating, the excessive spending, etc.

Am I wrong to think this? I like being able to produce wonderful work that I am finally happy with!

-Jennifer N.

> Hi Fluffy,
> Does your name have to do with your bubbly butt? (That might sound really weird to someone just getting into this thread!) Glad you can approach your art so centeredly. Do you make your living doing this? If so, good for you!
>
> I felt similarly to K.R. Jamison's description of the 'tortured artist'. I think she was in a full throttle manic swing when she wrote it, or had leaning towards OCD. All those charts and graphs! plus she was in clinical practice full time. It is interesting how so many passionate artist-types are categorized as bipolar. Maybe it had something to do with too much lead in the cookware and pipes back then. Beethoven's hair was analyzed not too long ago and it showed sky high lead levels. He was majorly depressed but obviously had moments of grandeur. But who wouldn't be depressed back then with the cold, heat, grime, rotten teeth and no baths! Yecch.
>
> Lithium doesn't damp out the fire at all for me. I've heard that it can do that, i.e., Jamison was taking alot of lithium and said that she eventually compromised with less lithium, less stability, but more creativity. I'm only taking 600mg/day which is below the therapeutic window so maybe more would affect me more adversely.
> Without it I get frizzled and disordered so whatever it does, it does me good. I considered that I had ADD but stimulants made me feel even more fried.
>
> Lithium supposedly makes new neurons and is protective - brain healthy. That may be so, however, it's made my hypothyroid condition worse and I pee alot more. I have to exercise alot just to stay plump. Hopefully jettisoning the nortriptyline will help in that regard. - Barbara

 

Re: Lamictal-Barbara

Posted by maxime on July 17, 2003, at 14:47:30

In reply to Re: Lamictal-Barbara starlight, posted by Barbara Cat on July 14, 2003, at 20:47:05

Mixed states over here! I think I would rather just deal with my deep depression. When I mentioned the words "mixed state" to my GP I had to explain to her what I meant and how I felt.

I always thought I was bipolar 2, but apparantly "delusions" are not one of the criteria for bipolar 2 and I get extreme paranoia during a mix state. See this site:
http://www.psycheducation.org/depression/frameset.html

But mixed states seem to come under BP1 as dysphoric mania - Look at this site for one woman's description of depression, Euphoric mania and dysphoric mania.
http://home.att.net/~mercurial-mind/comparison.html

Too make it even more confusing I think there is research from the UK that has identified 6 forms of bipolar - if I find the site I will post it.

Max

> Starlight,
> You think mixed states is more representative of BP-I than II? I was wondering about that myself. I get 'normal' depressions on occasion but the mixed states are absolute hell. I descend into an almost psychotic state where everything is painful and despairing. Unlike garden variety depression I feel things too sharply, cry and wail and can sometimes have hallucinations. I get precognitions that unfortunately play out, but they are all of the doom variety. The world becomes an apocolyptic nightmare where the singing angels fly away and abandon us. We are lost in the mind of an insane God. It takes me over completely. I hardly sleep, and it feels like my nerve endings are scorched. Very wild, a place that might be fascinating to explore if it weren't so horrific and debilitating. I would almost call it schizophrenia if it weren't so cyclical. I haven't had one of these doozeys since starting lithium.
>
> Who knows what our stuff really is? For me, it's probably a highly attuned sensitivity that's gone awry, circuits miswired. Any thoughts would be appreciated. I haven't met many mixed-states on this board. - Barbara

 

Re: Lamictal- mood stabiliser

Posted by maxime on July 17, 2003, at 14:56:44

In reply to Re: Lamictal-Barbara, posted by kaybo on July 15, 2003, at 20:33:12

It seems like some of who are BP are using Lamictal as an antidepressant. But is any one using it as a mood stabiliser and if so do you use add on stabiliser (seems like several of you take lamictal and trileptal). I'm also curious to know if you are taking both which one did you try first and which one was add on.

Mac


> Hey there,
> Just kind of stumbled onto your thread here. Definitely relating to it all. I am finally starting to stabalize on my meds. Again. Been pretty much a two year on again, off again battle. I'm now on 150mg Lamictal and 900mg of Trileptol. Plus I need to take something to sleep or I'm in a state of aware dreaming all night. I've been taking Seroquel. Then tried Zyprexa and started feeling surreal during the day.
> I'm a screenwriter. Another messed up artist I guess. Had many moments of spiritual "awakening" and I feel like part of my extended depressed state stems from feeling that those moments were really induced by the disorder. I was way into searching for enlightenment and now am afraid to tread anywhere near it. My major manic episode was brought on by a combination of heavy antidepressants, stress, a couple weeks of no sleep and a bunch of mushrooms. I thought I had figured it all out. Then I exploded. And crashed extremely hard after being put on high doses of Depakote. Later added Wellbutrin, but never got through the darkness. Started over again about five months ago. The Lamictal seems to be working well to ease the depression, but I'm still not quite fully there yet. Pdoc keeps the Trileptol on board to keep the threat of mania away. I'm not so sure about it. I'm looking so forward to the day when the cloud disappears and I can see clearly.
> peace.

 

Thanx 4 the info!-BarbaraCat (nm)

Posted by cleo on July 17, 2003, at 16:22:17

In reply to Re: Barb, for barbaracat.......lexapro and depakote cleo, posted by Barbara Cat on July 17, 2003, at 1:58:12

 

Re: Gosford Park, Li and creativity

Posted by fluffy on July 17, 2003, at 17:46:54

In reply to Re: Gosford Park, Li and creativity Barbara Cat, posted by Jennifer N. on July 17, 2003, at 13:57:02

Jennifer--

I think both Barbara and I are coming to the conclusion that it is even more possible to follow through with your creative endeavors when NOT MANIC--i.e. NOT ILL! I still feel inspired--I'm just not as angry and unfocused. Give this med thing a go. You may be surprised about the good changes it causes in you. When I look back before I was diagnosed and unmedicated--SHEESH! What a mess I was. Getting into arguments, spending too much money...you know the drill. And I didn't produce artwork for quite awhile due to being ill. I wouldn't get EXCITED about your mania. It can rear its ugly head...and it ends with a crash into DEPRESSION.

So I take it that the Lamictal is not quelling your mania? If you feel it is getting out of control, you should tell your doc. Anyway--I'm out of advice for now.

To Barbara--
I don't make a living from my artwork. I have a full time job which is not too taxing. I'm gunning for my "big break"--working in my free time, applying for grants and such.

Good luck to the both of you's!

Katy

 

Cyclothymia, zoloft, zyprexa, life in a tent

Posted by tentdweller on July 17, 2003, at 20:06:46

In reply to Re: BIPOLAR QUESTION?, posted by McPac on July 15, 2003, at 0:04:23

I spent last winter in a tent (kept storage unit for furniture, etc.) I have been unemployed more than nine months now, with occasional day labor to supply rice and beans and cat food (yes, my cat stuck around the tent). Lost contact with most everyone, but in June made contact with old college girlfriend who found me on the internet. I packed all my stuff in a uhaul and drove 800 miles to move in with her. Before I had unpacked my car, we smoked weed, got blackout drunk on bourbon (I had been clean for six months at the tent) bought unknown pills from a self-described ex-con at a bar, and followed another stranger home to buy weed, (scene missing). I knew we were both headcases in college, but moved under the illusion, delusion, whatever, that she had her life together. A week of blurred visions and bad sexual decisions later, I pawned what I could for gas money home. With summer came snakes, scorpions, and assorted unwanted critters in my tent. Extended family members took me in on the condition that i see a psychiatrist. i have been open and honest with him, and he has diagnosed me with cyclothymia. In the past i would have argued that I am a moody bastard, but not manic-depressive. After the longest depression I have faced, and I have faced many, I just couldn't shake this one. I have a Bachelor of Arts, and have held demanding jobs in the past. I feel like I just need a job to feel normal, but I am having difficulty socializing with anyone or selling myself to employers. Doc has me on Zoloft (three weeks in) for the depression, and Zyprexa (two weeks in)for the insomnia. Anyone out there who can convince me these drugs will work eventually. I have been fully sober for three weeks, but longing lately for the old self-medication. Help!

 

Barbara Cat, I need your opinion

Posted by tentdweller on July 17, 2003, at 21:15:19

In reply to Re: Barb, for barbaracat.......lexapro and depakote McPac, posted by Barbara Cat on July 16, 2003, at 0:53:27

Your postings strike me as most helpful. What is your opinion of Zyprexa at 10mg for insomnia. I am also on Zoloft for depression. Zoloft three weeks, Zyprexa two weeks. Feeling hyper and kind of creepy... staying with family. They left without me for a week's vacation, and I am in need of some constructive thoughts.

 

Re: Barbara Cat, I need your opinion tentdweller

Posted by Barbara Cat on July 18, 2003, at 1:50:13

In reply to Barbara Cat, I need your opinion, posted by tentdweller on July 17, 2003, at 21:15:19

Dear TW,
First of all, let me express my utmost appreciation for you. In these sterile days of BushEnomics, your lovely adventures ring loud and true to wanderers everywhere. The pain and upheaval you're experiencing is healthy outrage, pure and simple, against the dreary crap we call Life Today. The travesty is that we have to medicate against this natural and healthy pissed-off reaction to unethical Big Brother bull that we're all too chicken-shit to stand up to. It's not you. Anyone who isn't going through Hell isn't really alive. What we lack is proper guidance rather than better meds.

Whew, glad to get that off my chest. OK, Zyprexa. I was on it 5 years ago because I was having wild hallucinations in my otherwise predictable depressions. I've since come to regard them as 'I have HAD IT!' breaking through, but they were too inexplicable/problematic for my 20 minute every 8 week psych session to handle. I felt swooshy and revved and once I finally fell asleep, slept like the Dead without any dreams. Woke up hungover until noon. Sleep, I don't know about sleep since I get so little of it. But melatonin works well when it works. I take Ambien. Someday I'll be off it, but for now, if I don't sleep I get wack-o. What's really the issue for me is stressed out adrenals from years and years of intense stress. Hah! I'm amazed I survived my many years as a computer consultant. Stress, and the chemicals stress produces, is the reason why we feel we can't handle life's journey. How we get beyond our stress is the answer. You know this.

Zoloft was a good drug for me. It took care of panic attacks and morbid dread. But it never lasted for long. I kept having to increase it to dangerous levels because the panic and sense of doom kept breaking through. I think I'm really bipolar rather than major depressed, but that's just another name, a pigeon-hole, a neat little HMO diagnosis for insurance sake. I believe I've been having one spiritual reckoning after another but, until lately, haven't had proper training to guide me through. So lithium helps with the wild ride, and lamictal helps with the ever-present Dark Night of the Soul. No more SSRI's for me. I try to meditate every day. I try to stay away from stimulants, i.e., alcohol, opiods, pot - even though they provide an instaneous relief and that dark thrill that I pay too high a price for. I don't know how to do all this on my own, but I fervently believe it can be done. Until then, I gladly accept help, realizing that I am ultimately responsible for Me. If what you're taking/doing helps to get you through the night, then be glad. If not, keep searching. Just be sure not to burn yourself out, legally or otherwise.

Altough I know that my difficulties are a product of a very difficult childhood, I've often wondered how much of my nervous system was forged by my psychedelic experimentation. I had mainly great revelations, but some of them were Pure Hell. My terrible depressions/psychosis were like the worst acid trip imaginable. Bearing this in mind, I guess Zyprexa should have worked, being a reputable anti-psychotic. But my spiritual seeking has convinced me that these intense reactions were NOT simply crazed chemistry. No, they were the truth for me at that moment and, it turns out, for this moment as well. Pure reaction and viscera. My pain came from not trusting myself and not having a clue how to live true to myself. My anxiety came from dreading a future I felt I could not handle. Flaking out in so many ways for so many years didn't help this anxiety one bit. At least now I can admit that I'm still quite ignorant, but at least open to learning. Getting out of that crazy-ass corporate world was necessary for my mental and physical health, and I've even been financially validated for that decision.

So, this is what I've learned. Trust your deepest knowing. You know what this is. Do the known remedies for depression/anxiety. That is, get good healthy exercise outdoors, eat fresh unprocessed foods, pure water and lots of it. Be boringly pristine and find friends who share your highest intentions. Get plenty of sleep (however you can), quiet your mind whatever way works best. Omega 3's are helpful, as in fish oil. Ask Spirit for guidance. Find a teaching that works for you and follow it but don't beat yourself up when you don't. Keep a journal and write in it EVERY DAY. While driving, listen to tapes of those who have been there and back instead of fragmenting noise. This way, being in the car becomes an opportunity for healing rather than frazzling.

And above all, love and be good to the Critter Kingdom (i.e., your kitties)! They will open your heart. That's where it's at, always. Keep me posted, TW. I'm with you. - BarbaraCat

 

Re: Barbara Cat, I need your opinion

Posted by bampf on July 18, 2003, at 6:47:06

In reply to Re: Barbara Cat, I need your opinion tentdweller, posted by Barbara Cat on July 18, 2003, at 1:50:13

just wanted to comment that I enjoyed reading your long post to "tentdweller" in a rather comforting fashion since it struck so close to home for me.

 

Re: Lamictal-Barbara maxime

Posted by Barbara Cat on July 18, 2003, at 11:35:09

In reply to Re: Lamictal-Barbara, posted by maxime on July 17, 2003, at 14:47:30

Thanks Max. I haven't seen the MercurialMind article yet. It is sooooooooooo true.

 

Re: Lamictal- mood stabiliser maxime

Posted by Barbara Cat on July 18, 2003, at 11:58:29

In reply to Re: Lamictal- mood stabiliser, posted by maxime on July 17, 2003, at 14:56:44

> It seems like some of who are BP are using Lamictal as an antidepressant. But is any one using it as a mood stabiliser and if so do you use add on stabiliser (seems like several of you take lamictal and trileptal). I'm also curious to know if you are taking both which one did you try first and which one was add on.
>
I started on lithium first. Was on Remeron first (just one of many SSRI-type meds I tried over the years). When it pooped out like they all do, lithium was added as an augmentor. Worked for a while but I was still getting mixed states. When I discovered my reactions were pure bipolar being destabilized by SSRI, I quit Remeron and went with lithium alone. Lithium alone did not help with the massive mixed states depressions I was in the grip of. Added lamictal and it worked well until a severe stress hit and I needed nortriptyline to keep me from harm. Helped alot but got tired of weight gain, cotton mouth, tremors. So I stopped nortriptyline without any withdrawal while slowly increasing lamictal. Lately I've increased lamictal from 75mg to 150 and will go up as needed. Before, I couldn't tolerate the anxiety from a dose greater than 75mg, but this time it's OK. It seems to be a wonder med at this higher dose, but I still need lithium to soothe my skittering neurons. I probably need more than 600mg lithium I'm on because I still get too wired, but I will not take more because of the problems it's caused with my already hypothyroid condition. I also don't want to deaden passion or creativity, so I'm using exercise to release the pressure. If I can avoid plummeting while dancing on the edge of hypomania, that's quite OK by me.


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